Terrace House (franchise)
|Country of origin||Japan|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original network||Fuji Television, Netflix|
|Picture format||1080p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Original release||October 12, 2012 –|
Terrace House (Japanese: テラスハウス Hepburn: Terasu Hausu) is a Japanese reality television show franchise consisting of five series and one theatrical film. The show follows the lives of six strangers, three men and three women from different walks of life, who live under the same roof while getting to know and date each other.
The first series, subtitled Boys × Girls Next Door, originally aired on Fuji Television's "Cool TV" segment from October 12, 2012 to September 29, 2014, after which the 2015 standalone film Closing Door was released as a conclusion to the show. Subsequent series were produced as Fuji TV and Netflix co-productions, internationally premiering as a Netflix Original while also airing on Fuji Television within Japan. The second series, subtitled Boys & Girls in the City, aired from September 2, 2015 to September 27, 2016 and moved the setting from the Shōnan area to central Tokyo. For the third series the show moved from Japan to Hawaii, airing from November 1, 2016 to August 29, 2017 under the subtitle Aloha State. The fourth series, subtitled as Opening New Doors, moved the show back to Japan in Nagano prefecture and aired from December 19, 2017 to February 12, 2019. The fifth and current series, Tokyo 2019–2020, began airing on May 14, 2019.
The show has received positive reviews for its earnest take on the reality TV format. Since releasing internationally the show has become a global sleeper hit and developed a cult following.
Terrace House is an unscripted reality television show about six strangers who move in together while the viewer watches what happens as a result. The group is composed of three girls and three boys aged from their teens to their 30s. While not explicitly described as a dating show, Terrace House has been labelled as such by several reviewers. Viewing drama comes from watching members pursue romance with each other and dealing with the differences in their personalities, morals, hopes and dreams.
The show provides access to a furnished house and two cars, all of which are equipped with cameras, in a fly on the wall style. While in Terrace House members keep their day jobs and are allowed to go about their daily lives as they please. At various times the cameras will also follow members to other locations, such as restaurants or their work. Should one of the housemates decide to permanently leave the show they are replaced by a new member of the same gender.
A group of studio commentators introduce each episode and watch along with the viewer. They provide commentary at regular intervals: analysing conversations, deciphering members' body language and joking about the last 10 minutes of footage.
Boys × Girls Next Door (2012–2014)
Boys & Girls in the City (2015–2016)
Aloha State (2016–2017)
Opening New Doors (2017–2019)
Tokyo 2019–2020 (2019–present)
|Presenter||Boys × Girls Next Door||Boys & Girls in the City||Aloha State||Opening New Doors||Tokyo 2019–2020|
|You||Ep 1–98||Ep 1–46||Ep 1–36||Ep 1–49||Ep 1–present|
|Reina Triendl||Ep 14–98||Ep 1–46||Ep 1–36||Ep 1–49||Ep 1–present|
|Yoshimi Tokui||Ep 26–98||Ep 1–46||Ep 1–36||Ep 1–49||Ep 1–present|
|Azusa Babazono||Ep 26–98||Ep 1–46||Ep 1–36||Ep 1–49||Ep 1–present|
|Ryota Yamasato||Ep 26–98||Ep 1–46||Ep 1–36||Ep 1–49||Ep 1–present|
|Hiroomi Tosaka||Ep 26–98|
|Hanamaru Hakata||Ep 89, 95, 96|
|Ayumu Mochizuki||Ep 1–18|
|Kentaro||Ep 19–46||Ep 1–36|
|Tsukasa Saito||Ep 10–11, 14–17|
|Shono Hayama||Ep 1–49||Ep 1–present|
|Kenta Maeda||Ep 45|
Terrace House received praise for bringing reality back to reality television, with the lack of drama making the show distinctive, relaxing and addictive. GQ magazine described the show as "the reality show for people who hate reality shows" adding it will take over your life as you become heavily invested in minute happenings.
Troy Patterson of the New Yorker praised the slow-burning action which is "sparked by the honest friction of minor personality flaws and conflicting personal needs", commenting that the show is closer to a nature documentary than to the exploitation films that people now expect from reality television: "If the producers massage their interactions with an eye toward creating conflict, they do so with the subtlest hand the genre has ever seen." In Justin McElroy's review for Polygon, he lauded the show as infinitely fascinating, "In a reality TV landscape cluttered by fame-hungry pseudo-human caricatures, Terrace House stands alone by simply letting actual humans be delightfully, heartbreakingly human." Andrew Ridker, writing for The New York Times Magazine, described the show as staggeringly banal yet capable of genuine literary excellence. On the compelling nature of the housemates Ridker stated, "I found myself identifying with the housemates in a powerful way. Their lives are just so real." In the The Guardian's review titled "Terrace House: the must-watch Japanese reality show in which nothing happens", Rachel Aroesti describes the show as a sleeper hit and attributed its success to the comforting viewing experience, describing it as meditative in nature. Aroesti went on to describe the show as an example of truth being more compelling than fiction, "For everybody who has been consistently disappointed with the gulf between the principles of reality TV and the actual reality, Terrace House might be the genre’s saving grace." Writing for BBC News, Yvette Tan suggests the success of Terrace House is due to its mutedness: "It's quiet and calm on the eyes. It's got soothing colours, the people are nice and speak in more muted tones." Tan suggests this contrast against other "neon" reality TV, which shouts for attention with bright colours and loud contestants, is part of Terrace House's appeal as a reality TV antidote.
Terrace House's studio commentators have been cited as a highlight of the show and for setting it apart from other reality TV series. Reviewers also note how they provide international viewers with context on Japanese cultural nuances. Lindsey Weber of Elle wrote that "by watching “with” you and reacting alongside, the gang amplifies the awkward, funny, and (their description, not mine) utterly Japanese moments" and proves that every reality show should have a panel of commentators. The Ringer's Nicole Bae noted that the commentators also "provide a level of consistency to anchor the show. For a series as staid as Terrace House, the hosts offer a dose of wit to keep the proceedings lively."
The show was described by Clio Chang in Esquire as "the perfect show to watch with your mum" due to its PG approach to dating. Chang comments the shows tensions ultimately revolve around small differences in each character’s personality and morals, which makes Terrace House "just the right level of drama to dissect with your mother after dinner."
On the success of Terrace House's seemingly drama free approach to reality TV, Dr Griseldis Kirsch, senior lecturer in contemporary Japanese culture at the School of Oriental and African Studies commented "I think one reason why the show might be so appealing is that we're able to relate more to the people in the show. You're able to imagine yourself in their shoes."
During the initial run of Boys × Girls Next Door on Fuji Television audience share increased from an average of 5.5% at the start of the series to 6.9% at the end. Episode 74 had the highest viewing figures with an audience share of 9.1%. While Netflix doesn’t publicly release its viewer data, Netflix Japan content manager Kaata Sakamoto told Buzzfeed News the show had exceeded their expectations in terms of international viewership.
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